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Speculation: Will Steve take out Disney?

Jan Kabili
02.27.06
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We've just gotten used to the news of Disney's agreement to acquire Pixar. That deal makes Steve the largest Disney shareholder, with ownership of 7% of Disney's stock. Now Barron's is speculating that Apple may turn the tables and make a bid to acquire Disney. 

Barron's floated the idea of an Apple bid for Disney this weekend, quoting analyst Christopher Whalen saying:  "I think he [Jobs] has an open option. Disney is badly undervalued right now. Jobs may get an opportunity to take it out." Whalen supports this idea by pointing out Steve's "familiarity with both the content and technology side of Hollywood" and the notion that Disney shareholders "would welcome a merger led by their apparent savior, Steve Jobs."

What's the likelihood this scenario will play out? Blogger Louis Gray thinks it can only happen in  "a business reporter's dream." He argues that the financials don't add up and worries that taking over Disney would quash the possibility of Apple offering shows from competitors like NBC or Viacom/MTV on iTunes.  Now I don't pretend to be a financial analyst, so I'm just taking it all in. An Apple acquisition of Disney does sound wild; but honestly, at this point nothing Steve does would be a surprise.

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